The editor, Other options for Lowly need to be considered

The editor,

On the ABC 639 news on Thursday morning 4/9/14, Mr Rick Conti of Petro Diamond (the Port Bonython diesel storage facility) stated, in response to Sid Wilson's concerns re the despoilation of the Lowly Peninsula by industry, that he understood the concerns but stated that the "petrochemical precinct" on the Lowly Peninsula had been set aside by the government 30 years ago.

Apparently this was supposed to be some justification for a poor decision. The fact that that decision was made 30 years ago, in Adelaide, by a SA government mesmerised by the potential of the Cooper Basin, without proper consideration of all the alternatives, and supported then by our council of the day, still in "shipyard shock", does not justify now ignoring 30 years of additional appreciation of the value of the Lowly Peninsula for tourism, recreation and coastal living and its delicate marine environment, so important to the fishing industry throughout Spencer Gulf.

The Mitsubishi representatives that I spoke to on Tuesday seemed unaware that, contrary to government ministerial statements, the Crown Development Application submitted by Port Bonython Fuels in 2010 did not require a comprehensive environmental study.

A previously used excuse for locating the storage facility at Point Lowly, with all the associated road transport problems on the Lowly road, was that PBF had already purchased the land from the government.

This should have been an opportunity for our council to swap that land for land at the unoccupied 'white elephant' Cultana Industrial Estate and so unburden the Whyalla City Council of an unused asset and, at the same time, increase the council's footprint on Point Lowly.

A tank farm at Cultana Estate, supplied by pipeline from either Port Whyalla or Port Bonython, would be adjacent both the Lincoln Highway and the railway line and so would eliminate the significant road tanker traffic on the Lowly road.

Such options have never been given any serious thought.